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Jai Moore leads Niagara women to first win of season

Niagara built an 18-point lead after three quarters and had more than enough left to hold off Oakland, 77-63, in a nonconference women’s basketball game Monday night at the Gallagher Center.

It was the first win of the season for the Purple Eagles after five losses.

Niagara outscored the Grizzlies in the second quarter, 19-11, to take a 37-27 halftime lead. Coach Jada Pierce’s team outscored Oakland, 22-14, in the third to go into the final period with a 59-41 lead.

Jai Moore, a senior from Brooklyn, led Niagara with 21 points while Maggie McIntyre, also a senior, from Mantua, N.J., had 13 points. Adia Brisker, a freshman from Pittsburgh, added 10 points.

Oakland got as close as 68-58 with 2:59 left, but Niagara hit six free throws and Moore finished it with a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left.

Niagara outscored the Grizzlies 15-3 from 3-point range in the first half when Oakland made only 1 of 13 shots from beyond the arc.

For the game, the Purple Eagles shot 40.7 percent (24 of 59) to 35.7 (25 of 70) for Oakland (2-3).

Chloe Guingrich’s 14 points led four scorers in double figures for the visitors from Michigan.

Next for Niagara will be Colgate at 2 p.m. on Sunday in Hamilton.

Tonight’s games

Canisius and St. Bonaventure men’s basketball teams will begin their play in the campus portion of the Boca Raton Beach Classic on Tuesday night.

Canisius will play at University of Illinois-Chicago while the Bonnies will be home to the Mercer Bears of the Southern Conference in the Reilly Center.

The Golden Griffins (2-2) have scored narrow victories over Bucknell at home and St. Bonaventure at KeyBank Center in their last two games.

Freshman Jacco Fritz, one of the Canisius standouts in the victories, was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week for the second week in a row. The 6-foot-10 native of The Netherlands had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the 61-57 victory over Bona.

UIC (2-4) lost at home to Mercer, 72-68, in the first round of the Boca Classic on Saturday. Two of the UIC Flames starters, guard Godwin Boahen and 6-6 forward Deon Ejim are from Toronto. Steve McClain, who had a previous head coaching stop at Wyoming, is the Flames’ head man. It will be the first meeting between Canisius and UIC.

St. Bonaventure (1-4) will be facing Mercer for the second time ever. They met in Georgia 27 years ago.

Mercer is 4-2 under first-year head coach Greg Gary.

Ethan Stair, a 6-4 senior, leads the Bears in scoring at 21.3 ppg., Djordje Dimitrijevic, a senior from Serbia, is averaging 17.8.

The Boca scene will shift to South Florida on Sunday where Canisius will face Mercer at noon and the Bonnies will meet the University of San Diego at 9 p.m. Canisius and Bona will have a second game in the Classic at Boca next Monday against opponents to be determined. Canisius will meet Hofstra or Holy Cross. The Bonnies will face UIC or host Florida Atlantic.

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